Guest Post by Emma Hawes
Fair Warning: This is a blog post about being young and misunderstood, but also one that reminds my generation they’re not alone. I want people to know, “I’m not alone,” and like the R.E.M. song says, “Everybody Hurts.” Before I continue, I want to stress that while research is needed for each age group, stereotypes are unnecessary.
The stereotypes placed upon Millennials, the generation I fall into, make me want to punch a hole in the wall. One of the most reported things about Millennials is that they feel entitled, they are lazy and they expect the world.
Well no matter what generation is out there, there’s going to be a good employee and a bad employee.
Now, I think you should meet my competition.
Millennials & Gen Z
Millennials are the largest age group of people at a time, just like the Baby Boomers were during their time. It stinks that I am going to be compared to Generation Z, people born between 1995 and 2010.
It is said that Generation Z are entrepreneurs as well as hard workers, because they saw parents or siblings lose their jobs. I find this crazy, because I remember being in high school during the recession of 2008, and my classmates had parents who lost their jobs.
Isn’t it almost as if Millennials and Generation Z overlap a little bit?
Enter Gen Alpha
One thing that will be interesting to study is Generation Alpha, because it’s the generation that will be stereotyped as the “people who could unlock iPhones at 18 months of age.” Which year (of birth) counts as Generation Alpha? 2010 to 2014, depending on which site you read.
But here’s something about Generation Alpha that really stands out to me: Ad Age notes how it will be the anti-sharing generation as far as content goes.
Yes, they are already doing research on Generation Alpha.
This is much-needed, of course, as advertisers are already thinking of how to crack the code for marketing to them. We could probably also learn a few things from the Baby Boomers about the pre-social media era.
However, it’s highly possible that younger folk in Generation Alpha might have similar traits to older people in Generation Z.
Gerry often writes about age discrimination. Ageism infuriates me, because in the future I can see myself in the workforce while in between newer and older age groups. I probably won’t have a decorated resume nor awards in my lifetime that can compare to Gerry’s, but I will probably be at work.
Doing the work I love is truly a passion, and I will fight anyone who tells me to stop. And btw, more people need to at least follow Gerry on social media. He wants to adapt and does a great job at it.
There’s a Wilco lyric that states, “C’mon children, you’re acting like children. Every generation thinks it’s the end of the world.” Honestly, this statement speaks to everyone.
What about Boomers?
The Baby Boomer generation is like mine in several ways too. It’s similar to the Neil Young song “Old Man” in a way. Just how that song spoke to Baby Boomers, it spoke to two generations above them.
More alike than different
To everyone in Generations Z and Alpha, please know that while I’ll use research on them for products and such, I will not stereotype you when it comes to being my co-workers.
Trust me, you shouldn’t be viewed as the kid in Bad Religion’s “21st Digital Boy,” not knowing how to read, but having a lot of toys.
In the next year, I’ll probably meet a Gen Z-er who’s a member of PRSSA during a Twitter chat, and who thinks that he or she has the best ideas ever. That may or may not be true, but I can promise you I won’t shoot their ideas down.
Millennials, I hope you understand that you’re not alone. We’re all going to be surrounded by good people AND bad people in all age groups. Despite the generation gap, we’re far more alike than some folk make us out to be.
Emma Hawes is currently working as a freelance social media content creator, while attending graduate school online at Purdue University. Hawes has a bachelor’s degree in communication, with concentrations in journalism, public relations and broadcasting from Mississippi State University. In college, Hawes was a freelance broadcasting technician, working behind the scenes for games with ESPN. When she is not behind her MacBook, iPhone or camera, she enjoys watching comedy, reading and cooking. Her fictional idol is Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation.